Sunday, 5 February 2017

Headley Heath

22nd January 2017

The day dawned clear and cold. Despite a forecast for cloud and a chance of rain, we were very pleasantly relieved. 13 of us assembled in the pub car park plus our lively Staffie Skye, the discussion was not about what to wear but whether sunglasses would be necessary! Cutting through the adjacent church grounds, we then turned south towards Headley Heath. The going was actually very benign as the muddy bits had all frozen over.

Passing the Headley CC house en route, Helen stopped the group to announce that the cricket club did NOT have any famous members play for it! Heading further south we encountered two small ponds dedicated to encouraging amphibian life. The first pond is called Hopeful (Photo opportunity!) and the second pond is called, as expected, Brimmer?!!!

We moved on. Joe led the group to a lovely cottage in the woods, a slight wrong turn but quickly corrected! A minor two minute detour and we were all back on the right track. The path descended into a gully and as the group walked up out of it they saw a very old dam which may have been connected to the Canadian military base there in WW2.

We then followed a long straight path which led past Bellasis House (SOE WW2) and Ashurst house (now an outdoor activity centre).

Stopping for lunch, we enjoyed watching a number of robins watching us watching them! The descent to the bottom of Headley Heath from there was steep but at least dry! What goes down must go up! We joined the pathway as it led to the Steps! Many steps! A good workout for all! After a short rest, and taking in the lovely view  over to Box Hill, we meandered across the heath enjoying the bright clear sunshine. Eventually we left the official Heath boundary and crossing a couple of roads and paths we headed back gently uphill to the Cock Inn where 10 of us stayed for coffee, soup and some good Surrey ale.

Not a bad morning in the end! Many thanks to those who took the time and effort to join us.

Joe and Helen
The Group gathered by Hopeful Pond

Robin On The Fence

Basingstoke Canal & Wey Navigation

18th December

Ten people came for the walk on Sunday keen for some exercise before loosening our belts at Christmas. It was mild for the time of year but damp although we had no rain. Starting from Sheerwater Road we walked up the Basingstoke Canal going under the M25 and then crossing the Wey Navigation. We then walked down the Wey until we reached Murray's Cart Bridge. As this is now closed we saw neither carts nor anyone else crossing here. At this point we took a track left which went over the M25. On the far side we encountered a field with pigmy pigs, llamas and other farm animals all happily living together. No sign of old MacDonald.
We walked on to Byfleet Church walking through the graveyard and stopped for a break at the end. We came out on to the road which became a path which led us under the M25 for the third time. The track us to Wisley where we swung by the church and into Wisley Golf Course. We succeeded in finding our way through the course, not the easiest of things to do as I have found in earlier attempts, and back to the Wey Navigation at Pyrford Lock.
Resisting calling in at the Anchor we were soon told by a barge coming in the opposite direction that we were going the wrong way to the pub. Nevertheless we pressed on crossing the Wey at Dodd's Bridge and following paths through fields until we came out at Holybank Road and a walk through the private estate. We soon came to the A245 and had a discussion about the best route across. We decided eventually to use the crossing which was a great idea until we realised it was not working so we stepped out and fortunately the traffic stopped.  Back to the cars we went our separate ways, all I believe intact.